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Monday, March 16, 2020

The Gig Economy and Economic Downturn

The Wired has a good article on how the Corona virus exposed workers to the risks of the gig economy.

The magazine asked me to comment and here's a taste: "Companies may be reluctant to go too far in offering workers protections, given ongoing legal battles in which they insist the workers are not employees, and the risk that additional benefits become entrenched after the crisis passes. There are no legal limitations to what the companies might offer independent contractors, says Orly Lobel, a professor who studies employment law and intellectual property at the University of San Diego. Last fall, some gig economy companies offered to give a health care stipend to workers who were agitating for more benefits in California. Still, “it might be, despite the fact that there is no rational legal limit to this, that companies are attempting to look as disconnected [as possible] from their independent contractors by not offering any benefits that are associated with the employment relationship,” she says."


Posted by Orly Lobel on March 16, 2020 at 05:09 PM | Permalink


By the way Orly, you may find great interest here:

"Google v. Oracle: Should SCOTUS Declare Code is an Expression or an Idea?"


Posted by: El roam | Mar 17, 2020 6:03:50 AM

Very interesting. But it is not so clear, how shall it become " entrenched when the crisis passes". To my best knowledge, the "control factor", is the main one, dictating, whether, it is an employee, or independent contractor. So, how paying him or benefiting, or, compensating him during the crisis, may legally render them employees finally ? For, the level of control of the employer, wouldn't change because of such social or labor compensations.


P.S.: Indeed the same article.

Posted by: El roam | Mar 16, 2020 6:02:02 PM

Orly, the link to the article, leads nowhere. Please confirm, that this is the right article, here:


Posted by: El roam | Mar 16, 2020 5:28:58 PM

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